Greg Merson's road to this year's main event final table has probably been the toughest of all 9 finalists. About 5 years ago he finally managed to put an end to his drug addiction, and ever since he has been very open about his addicition in interviews.
For example: In a recent interview with ESPN, Merson said that he financed his addiction by playing poker in the beginning of his career and that he stopped caring about school and other things in life. However, he managed to quit drugs after getting professional help and then started taking poker more seriously. The kick he got from playing poker drug-free helped him fill the gap after he stopped with, for example, cocaine.
During 2011, Merson had a drug relapse that almost costed him his friends, family and his entire poker bankroll. This time it was Anthony Gregg, poker pro a friend of Merson, who helped him take control over his life again . Besides helping him to quit drugs, Gregg also decided to stake him so he could continue playing poker. Merson started playing more and more tournaments instead of cash games, and it didn't take long before it started to pay off. In fact, at the World Series of Poker this summer he cashed in 4 events, won a bracelet, and made it to the Main Event final table! Greg Merson will bring the 3rd largest stack to the final table in October and he's guaranteed at least $754,798, with the chance of taking home bank-busting $8,292,889!